Videos from Portland showed a crowd of protesters violently shut down an event where Christians gathered to pray on the waterfront – ahead of another clash on Saturday afternoon involving anti-fascists and suspected members of the Proud Boys throwing projectiles at each other in a city street.
The police did not intervene in either of the clashes – other than a police car sounding its siren a few meters away.
The first case of violence came on Saturday at a planned outdoor event at Tom McCall Waterfront Park near the Battleship Oregon Memorial which will be hosted by Artur Pawlowski, a traveling preacher who was arrested in Canada for organizing services of worship in person in violation of the coronavirus restrictions. Several Antifa Twitter accounts tweeted about the planned event, the Post Millennial reported, and videos posted online showed a crowd of black bloc-clad protesters showed up at the water’s edge. to face the faithful.
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Dozens of people wearing umbrellas and black shields are seen spraying red and yellow gas on the group of worshipers, while other Antifa members steal sound equipment, lawn chairs and carts left on the lawn by families who had come to listen to the pastor speak.
“All cops are B *******, in the name of Jesus,” said a man’s voice during the melee.
Children, including toddlers, were in attendance at the worship event when the group of Antifa protesters began throwing projectiles, including eggs, a woman told a videographer at the scene.
“They threw a flash bomb at a group of children who were there,” she said.
A worshiper said a pastor approached to ask the group of protesters to stop – but he was sprayed with pepper. The woman is seen witnessing the pastor’s eyes covered with an orange substance.
The Portland Tribune reported that members of the far-right group, Proud Boys, later descended at the worship event and clashed with the Antifa members. Additional video released online by freelance journalist Andy Ngo shows the clashes that took place on a street in a nearby town, and suspected members of the Proud Boys, seen in yellow and black clothing, fired with a ball pistol on several members of Antifa.
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A Portland Police Department patrol car pulls up and flashes its siren – but apparently had no impact in stopping the confrontation. A man can be heard shouting at the officer at the wheel, “Do your job.
Once the groups converged on the waterfront, a scuffle broke out, but the confrontation was “over before any response from the police,” Portland Police Department spokesman Derek Carmon told KOIN. “As the groups were leaving, another small fight was reported before the police intervened. No arrests were made and no one showed up to report the crimes of which we are aware.”
“Police had no interaction with any of the groups today,” Carmon added.
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Screenshots shared by Ngo showed that another Antifa-affiliated Twitter account later tweeted that members had thrown audio equipment into the Willamette River and stole sandwiches and water bottles belonging to the group. Christian – before returning them to the homeless.